Thursday, November 24, 2016

November, 2016, Bonus Post The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: Real Americans Going Through Realk Suffering As A Result Of The Law

Every month for years now we have had to discuss how bad Obama Care is turning out to be under the continuing theme, “the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.” This month is no different. As the legislation continues to march through America, driving up health care and health insurance prices as it serves as dead weight on economic growth, it cements its rightful place as the worst piece of legislation Washington has ever produced.

It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:

  • Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
  • Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, and other unhealthy additives.
  • Americans smoke too much.
  • Americans do not exercise enough.
  • The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
  • Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
  • Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating healthcare costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
  • Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
  • Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high healthcare costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.
You cannot resolve any problem unless you understand and address the underlying root causes. No difference here: Obama Care legislation never addressed these listed root causes and thus, has no chance of ever being successful.

But it is not just missing the root causes of our healthcare costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.

These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care., To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.

This week we will be reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) We have spent the last week reviewing how badly 2017 is shaping up for Obama Care:

  • Less competition as insurers flee the Obama Care health insurance market due to how unprofitable those policies are.
  • Premiums going up across the country, often by astronomical amounts.
  • Deductibles going up radically causing many to lament that the good news is that they now have health insurance but the bad news is they cannot afford to use it since the deductibles are too high.
  • The choice of doctor and hospital networks is getting smaller and smaller of Obama Care insurance customers.
  • Far fewer younger and healthier Americans did not sign up for health insurance as expected, preferring to pay the penalty, robbing insurance companies of the funds they needed to service their older and less healthy customers.
  • The number of of people that was predicted to be covered by Obama Care insurance policies by now is off by about 50%.
So the many promises of Obama relative to the legislation, e.g. a family could see its annual health insurance costs go down by up to $2,500, if you like your doctor and hospital and insurance policy you can keep them, the cost curve of ever higher healthcare costs would be “bent,”, etc. have not come close to being true.

Chris Jacobs, writing for the National Review on October 25, 2016, offered some other insights into these and other Obama Care failures:

  • The title of his article was called, “Offering Poor Value, Obamacare Exchanges Become Medicaid-like Ghettos.”
  • The logic of his title is that the majority holding Obama Care policies are faced with insurance policies that have very narrow doctor and hospital choices with usually no out of network flexibility except in emergency health cases.
  • As premiums costs go up, but Obama Care policy benefits remain basically unchanged, the value to a potential Obama Care policyholder becomes very poor.
  • According to a recent Obama administration report, 81% of Obama Care policy holders earn less than $60,750 for a family of four and half earn less than $40,095 for a family of four, meaning that the vast majority of Obama Care policy holders are getting very lucrative taxpayer subsidies.
  • They also are likely to be very sensitive to monthly costs which means they are looking for the most inexpensive policies available despite the subsidies they are receiving.
  • This income sensitivity usually forces them into Medicaid like policies that have very narrow networks which is the only way the insurance companies offering the Obama Care policies can get costs down low enough along with high deducitbles that that these policy holders often cannot afford.
  • To prove this point, McKinsey consultants found that 75% of Obama Care policies in 2017 will have no out of network options, indicating a Medicaid like situation.
  • These Medicaid-like policies and their associated narrow networks on average have one third fewer specialists than the average employer insurance plan.
  • Mr. Jacobs explains how the death spiral is now working for ObamaCare subsidized policies: “Insurers who specialize in Medicaid managed-care plans using narrow networks have managed to eke out small profits amid other insurers’ massive exchange losses. As a result, other carriers have narrowed their product offerings, making Obamacare plans look more and more alike: narrow networks, tightly managed care — yet ever-rising premiums.”
  • What then happens is that more and more narrow networks of doctors and hospitals along with a strait jacket set of healthcare options laid on top of every rising premiums and deductibles makes Obama Care policies more and more unattractive to healthy, young, and affluent customers who continue to shun Obama Care policy options more and more over time resulting in even more narrow networks, higher premiums, etc., etc., etc.= death spiral.
Another perspective on how Obama Care is continues to implode.

2) We often finish up these monthly posts with a set of examples of how Obama Care is affecting actual Americans. Underneath the overall averages of ever increasing premiums and deductibles, the ever decreasing number of doctors and hospitals available to Obama Care customers, there are actual Americans struggling to cope with the failures of this legislation. We will finish up today’s and this month’s review of the unfolding disasters from Obama Care by again referencing the following website where Americans have posted some of the trauma and stress experiences Obama Care has caused them:

CARA, WEST VIRGINIA: My 55 year old brother and 61 year old wife had their policy cancelled courtesy of Obamacare. Due to the Obama proclamation that for now the companies can offer them a policy again, Blue Cross notified them it would sign them up again after all, for $500 MORE per month.

ROB, WEST VIRGINIA: My mother suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. From diagnosis to having to medically retire from being a registered nurse, took about 2 years. Her doctor got her on meds that greatly lowed the disease, gave her more mobility, and less pain. Once ObamaCare hit, the costs of all but 2 meds has tripled. The cost of the other 2 quadrupled. Being on a fixed income, she can no longer afford these meds. Then, to add insult to injury, the cost of her co-pays has doubled.

CAMILLE: “We are the Obama people,” said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists.

RICHARD, MICHIGAN: From NBC News: Richard Helgren, a Lansing, Mich., retiree, said he was “irate” when he received a letter informing him that his wife Amy's $559 a month health plan was being changed because of the law. The plan the insurer offered raised his deductible from $0 to $2,500, and the company gave him 17 days to decide.

The higher costs spooked him and his wife, who have painstakingly planned for their retirement years. "Every dollar we didn't plan for erodes our standard of living," Helgren said. Ulltimately, though Helgren opted not to shop through the ACA exchanges, he was able to apply for a good plan with a slightly lower premium through an insurance agent. He said he never believed President Obama’s promise that people would be able to keep their current plans.

"I heard him only about a thousand times," he said. "I didn't believe him when he said it though because there was just no way that was going to happen. They wrote the regulations so strictly that none of the old policies can grandfather."

MICHAEL, NEW YORK: Michael Kennedy, who runs two family-owned dog-grooming salons near Albany, said changes to his cut-rate insurance coverage mandated by ObamaCare had more than doubled the cost, from $132.99 to $325.92 a month per person. 

And when he checked the cost of buying an ObamaCare policy instead, it was “basically the same price, or even more,” he said.

Kennedy, 46, said that he and his wife clear only about $60,000 a year from their Pink Dog Parlor and Resort business, and that paying the new, higher premiums will be “a huge challenge.”

“It’s like another 100 dogs we need to groom,” he said.

TOM, LOUISIANA: Obamacare has required my insurance carrier to double my premium beginning Jan 2015. I will no longer be able to afford the premium. The reason the premium is being raised is to provide coverage required by Obamacare but for which I have no need. Obamacare is forcing me to forego insurance I chose, and can pay for to having no insurance at all. I will have to cancel my insurance but I will send the bill to the fool of a senator who voted for the law, Mary Landrieu.

Real Americans suffering real pain, health and financial and stress, as a result of this horrible legislation. More unfolding disasters likely next month.

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